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Are You Up For This Challenge?

With Valentine’s Day upon us, no better way to kick-off our third ‘Wild Atlantic Writing Awards’ (WAWA) than to choose that ‘many splendored thing’ called Love as a timely theme for our flash fiction and creative nonfiction competitions.

Though it features in so many stories, love can be one of the most challenging emotions to describe in writing. It has been called ‘unruly,’ for it can create either immense inner peace or a severe bout of the heebie-jeebies. Or both.

While philosophers have argued over the meaning of love since humans painted pictures on cave walls, they agree it’s probably the most powerful emotion we’ll ever experience. It has the power to nurture meaningful relationships, shatter hearts and teach us important lessons in life. In effect, it can change us forever.

Maybe it’s best described as a link to something greater than ourselves, a thing that shows us who we really are, the oldest of feelings, yet one that always feels new.

In addition to being ‘many splendored,’ love is multi-faceted. There’s classic romantic love but there’s also the purely platonic kind. There’s love of place, sibling love, a mother's love, love of a child, a grandparent, dog, a cat, any pet in fact. And, sadly, there’s also ‘lost love,’ the one that simply disappeared for whatever reason. The variations are endless. And they need not be human.


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Having such profound effects and crossing genres, age groups, even history, it’s no wonder love features so much in literature. Depending how it is handled, it can make a story rise to the literary heavens like a bright star at midnight or flatten it like a badly baked soufflé.

Now is your chance to take up the challenge and create your own story about Love, without mentioning the word itself. In doing so, you could win 500 euro, maybe even 1,000 euro, in prize money.

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